How unusual are these levels for the start of year 4?

(24 Posts)
perspective Sat 16-Nov-13 07:47:25

Our ds had the 6th former. He also had some sessions with a maths teacher from a local school, but more to give an assessment of what his abilities were. They key difference was that 6th former didn't tutor. He did fun stuff, nonsense algebra like proving 1=0, theoretical applications and the maths challenge stuff.

Btw, when ds got to secondary I was told firmly that although they have SATS info, they pay no attention and do their own tests! But it was not long until they picked up ds abilities and there were plenty of other challenges for ds.

I would heartily recommend a good 6th former, ds adored the boy he worked with,

usernameunknown Fri 15-Nov-13 23:47:16

The thinking is we'd rather a 6th form student when DS is in year 5/6 to a trainee teacher with maths degree when he's in year 4, purely because we thought DS would be easily accommodated this year. He's very happy going up to year 6 for maths this year and the trainee wont be here next year.

I am happy to be told otherwise though! Like I said, we don't really know what we're doing and are only coming to these decisions after a lot of discussion. The teachers seem confused by us grin

richmal Fri 15-Nov-13 22:41:53

The help children get in maths when they are ahead in the subject varies so much from school to school. I think you are lucky in having a school willing to recognise and do something about his ability. If dd had been at that school we would probably now not be home educating.

You could perhaps ask the school if they do the maths challenges run by UKMT or the Primary Maths Challenge.

I cannot quite see the thinking in preferring a 6th form student to a teacher with a maths degree for extra tuition?

usernameunknown Fri 15-Nov-13 21:04:24

Well we had our meeting with the HT. He started off by saying that DS' levels are very rare in this school and that they wanted to ensure he continued to progress. Obviously, as he has 3 years left at the school yet, they were a bit concerned as to how they can keep him progressing. As someone else upthread said, even when he gets to y6 they can only level him as a 6. Maths wise they did say that they are more than capable of giving him KS3 work (which he has already started shock ) and they said they do send teacher assessment grades up to secondary as well so they will be aware of DS' ability.

They asked if we would consider him being tutored by a student teacher who also has a math degree. I said we'd have to think about this. DH and I have talked this through since we got home and we have both agreed that we don't actually want this. We both feel that he's happy going up to year 6 for maths this year and being tutored will only set him further ahead and cause even more problems when he actually gets to year 6. We have said we can pinch the idea from this thread of a 6th form math's student coming from the local secondary for some 1 to 1 with him maybe when he reaches year 5/6.

With the literacy, they have 2 other children around the same level as him so they are all being set broader tasks to do in class. So that is a bit easier!

Thanks for all the replies. I do feel a little out of my depth as it wasn't expected really but it's nice to have other people to bounce ideas off of!

pointyfangs Fri 15-Nov-13 09:47:51

The maths level is exceptional, the reading is 'just' very very good smile and the school are clearly taking your DS seriously, which is great. I suspect they want to discuss differentiation and extension work, which is also great - take what's offered and be very proud of your DS.

My DD2 is in Yr6 and was a 4a in reading and writing at the end of Yr4, she will be sitting the L6 papers in May and is in a small extension group who are not just doing SATs stuff but also a lot of depth/breadth work. She was 'only' a 4c in maths at the end of Yr4 but has come on in leaps and will also be sitting L6 maths thanks - again - to really good extension work. I suspect your DS will be getting the same treatment and it will be great for him, will stop him getting bored and give him a flying start into secondary eventually.

perspective Thu 14-Nov-13 17:14:01

Well done your ds! I was in a similar position 3 years ago. My ds was reported Level 6 at the end of Y 4 then 6+ at Y5 then In Y 6 they could not report higher than, you guessed, level 6 even though he got 100% in L 6 paper. He was lucky to have a great Y 5 teacher who let him do what he wanted after he finished class work, so he worked through ks3 textbook. She also found a 6th former to work with him once a week on fun maths, nonsense algebra, black holes stuff.

Sounds like your ds school are on the ball and I wouldn't stress unless he is unhappy.My ds was fine until y6 then unfortunately had a teacher who was not quite so creative with maths ( though terrific with literacy). He zoned our for a bit but once in secondary ( just started y 7) he has flourished again. We've just had CAT tests and his scores for NVR and Quantative were near the maximum. There are more opportunities, specialist teachers which really helps.

Be proud!

theendgame Thu 14-Nov-13 14:23:26

I think if they are asking for a meeting, they must be aware that while it is working now, they will need to do something different at the very latest next year, if only to stop him going over the year 6 stuff for two years. So I'd go with their judgement on that and see what they have to say. They may also want to offer him some other opportunities too - our county does half day fun enrichment stuff at the weekends, which schools can nominate children for.

IEPs don't exist any more, technically, and to be honest if the school is doing well by him, you don't need anything like that anyway.

PiqueABoo Thu 14-Nov-13 11:33:47

I agree with @lljkk in that although it works this year it might get more interesting later on. If they're working with Y6 now, then who do they work with when they're in Y5 and then Y6?

On paper my Y6 DD is a level 6B in maths and perfectly happy doing any maths regardless of ease, but her character/nature is not everyone's. That's high enough for me i.e. provided they don't take a significant dive, I really don't care what her levels say at the end of the year. However she'll be going to the upstream secondary in Y7 (grammar free-zone, partially selectives are too distant etc.).

Last year the Y5 teacher turned down the maths volume, sparked some serious enthusiasm for the Literacy and the other subject areas. They also did good things re. character, self-confidence and so on. DD was beginning to see herself as a maths geek and 'rubbish' at everything else (one sub-level lower) so I was very content with the teacher's approach.

lljkk Thu 14-Nov-13 10:35:04

I think most yr4 teachers can teach yr6 level stuff no problem, it's integrating that level into the same lessons as others that's challenging (the stretch of the differentiation). Sounds like his teachers have managed fine so far but they are getting near limits of what is practical using conventional methods.

He could go to learn maths with y6s, for instance, but he could end up bored in his own y6 as a result. Not that boredom is all bad, lots of school is boring for most pupils everyone has to suck that up a bit.

Also have to think what happens if he continues at same pace, there's no important advantage to him to start secondary school at 7c. Most secondary schools the top set y7 starters will average 5b-5a sort of levels. So you may be happy for him to ease off or even plateau a bit and not keep racing ahead.

Your plans may depend what kind of secondary options he has, too.

simpson Wed 13-Nov-13 23:48:58

I do get where you are though OP, DD in yr1 is working at a 2A for reading and a 2B for writing, I have wondered about asking for an IEP, but the school cope with her just fine, so am going to leave things smile

MissMalonex2 Wed 13-Nov-13 23:36:51

DD was at these levels, we wondered where they go after this. On literacy / writing side, we found there was a lot of breadth still to develop. Maths we are lucky there are other kids with similar levels (she is in a huge juniors, there are 5-6 streams for maths). She is pushed most at maths, she loves the difficult concepts they are now throwing at them. I wanted them to back off on the G&T messaging and obv special treatment. My big bro was similar at juniors and lost interest and motivation in secondary and did not get the grades he could have. School respected it and focused on skills such as presentation, independence and teamwork as developmental points.

usernameunknown Wed 13-Nov-13 23:16:53

I agree Simpson. I don't think we will get much from the meeting purely because we, including DS, are happy with things the way they are

simpson Wed 13-Nov-13 23:11:42

DS's class has the highest kids at a 4C.

Not sure at an IEP do you think you need one? It sounds like the school are doing a good job anyway.

usernameunknown Wed 13-Nov-13 23:00:20

Thanks for the replies. I honestly expected lots of "no not unusual" replies!

Yes it is a state school. I did pick up on the fact he liked numbers early on so encouraged that but we haven't done anything at home for a couple of years. His teacher last year said he was very good at maths (no mention of literacy) but we weren't given his levels. The teacher said they had asked the maths coordinator to spend some time with DS because they wanted to make sure they had levelled him correctly.

As far as I'm aware DS goes to y6 for maths but not literacy and that is all the extra he gets.

A friend has suggested asking for an IEP for him. Would that be appropriate?

BlackeyedSusan Wed 13-Nov-13 22:54:08

what is more unusual is that they have tested, got results and seem to want to do something about it.

it is not necessarily just the school if the parents are laid back. sometimes you do stuff with your kids at their level, not realising that this is anything unusual.

clam Wed 13-Nov-13 22:41:37

In my current Y4 class, the highest levels for writing and maths are 3As. But we are harsh markers - although having said that, on moderation courses our staff go on, we frequently see teachers from other schools levelling much higher than we do, yet the "teacher" almost always 'sides with' us!

simpson Wed 13-Nov-13 21:56:07

DS is in yr4 and there are no kids at those levels.

The highest is a level 4 (don't know sub levels obviously) as the L4 kids have an extension lesson a week (DS is included).

member Wed 13-Nov-13 20:34:41

Given that level 4 is the average achieved at the end of year 6, those are very good results.

In your shoes, I wouldn't want to change too much either. My elder dd was seen as G&T at primary & now in Yr8 at secondary, she has lost motivation. With hindsight, I think she set too much store by being labelled "clever" & has had a rude awakening that there are people who do better than her! If she's not instantly brilliant at something, she lacks tenacity to try.

Sorry, bit of a tangent/possible projecting of own issues. Just trying to say that if you can persuade the school to stretch him with extension activities that don't set him apart too much & keep it all low key. Dd's primary didn't make a huge, huge deal about G&T but because their expectations were so high, she quite often felt like she had to be superhuman to earn stamps/rewards in assemblies etc. Acknowledgement of effort rather than achievement is key imo!

clam Wed 13-Nov-13 20:28:57

What were his most recent levels, prior to this? Is there are huge leap? You sound as if these results have come as a surprise. What did his previous teacher think?
Do you know what/how the assessments were done - for instance, the maths, was it a one-off test or a series of teacher assessments in a range of areas across the board? And is his writing a consistent, embedded 4A or do they mean he's done one exceptional piece of work that shows those skills?
Presumably these might be things that come out if you meet with the Head - either way, he's clearly very able and is unlikely to struggle academically, whatever "the way forward" is. As long as he's happy in school and in mixing and integrating well, with a broad range of interests, I'd be very pleased.

strruglingoldteach Wed 13-Nov-13 20:23:21

He's more than 2 years ahead- those are levels that would put him towards the top end of most year 6 classes. The maths especially.

The school may be wondering how best to keep catering for him- the average year 4 teacher is not used to teaching towards level 6, so they may need to make special provision to meet his needs.

neolara Wed 13-Nov-13 20:11:43

That's very good. Particularly the maths.

herdream1 Wed 13-Nov-13 20:07:16

Hello. I would think 4a for writing and 5b for maths are rather exceptional. He must have been taught very well either at home or at school. If you are laid back it must be the school. May I ask if he attends a state primary? I would be very interested to hear what the school would suggest to support further progress, when he is so much ahead of others.

lljkk Wed 13-Nov-13 19:49:51

Kids can plateau so don't want to heap high expectations on him.
But yes, those are quite good! Top 3% nationally I should think (or even better). Be pleased. Whatever they are doing is working for him so don't tweak it too much.

usernameunknown Wed 13-Nov-13 19:41:04

We had DS' parent evening yesterday and they told us they did assessments last week and his levels are 4a for reading and writing and 5b for maths.

I understand this is fantastic and believe school are obviously doing the right things for DS but was under the impression it isnt overly spectacular.

However, the HT phoned today to ask to meet us Friday to discuss "where we take it from here". I agreed to meet but told him we're quite happy as things are which he seemed surprised at.

Are we being too laid back? What should we expect from our meeting if anything?

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